It does seem a little hollow writing a blog this morning after I was watching the news last night to find out that Nelson Mandela had died at the age of 95. I’m not South African, I don’t profess to have any in depth knowledge of his life or beliefs, but I do believe that any human who is willing to give their life in search of equality deserves to be given praise. Nelson Mandela was an example to us all. RIP.
Hopefully the club will do something on Sunday to mark the passing of a great man.
Today Le Boss will assemble in front of the press and will be giving his latest update to the assembled hacks in preparation for the visit of Everton on Sunday. No doubt he’ll be asked why we haven’t signed Lukaku, to which he’ll give a predictable response along the lines of ‘he is a Chelsea player’ and make it clear that if we failed to get Demba Ba, we weren’t getting a chance of signing an upgrade on the Senegalese.
Arsene will, I’m sure, no doubt be full of praise for Martinez and it will be interesting to see how aggressive Everton are on Sunday afternoon against an Arsenal team that will be full of beans. This isn’t a Moyes Everton side any more; they are less likely to play for a draw and it could make for any interesting game.
As for us, we’ll get a breakdown of who’s fit and who’s not. I suspect the Sagna situation will be the one most of us will be paying the closest attention to; Jenkinson came in and did a fine job midweek, but Bac’s form this season is such that when he’s not playing it’s a big blow to us. I think we’ll hear Arsene echo similar sentiments to what he said pre-Hull about rotation, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see some more faces coming back in. More on possible line-ups tomorrow.
The other stuff to talk about today is all at boardroom level and, whilst I’m usually reluctant to delve into any kind of commentary in that space, I’m only halfway through today’s tube journey so I might as well give some sort of opinion. Josh Kroenke, son of Stan, was appointed non-Executive Director at the club. In addition, Peter Hill-Wood has been commemorated with his very own bronze bust.
Firstly, the bust. I’ve never really been a fan of Peter Hill-Wood if I’m honest. He’s part of the stuffy ‘old boys club’ that has resisted change where possible, whilst giving eye-rolling interviews at every opportunity. When you add the comments at a recent AGM where he told fans sarcastically “thank you for taking interest in our affairs” and he hardly endured himself to plebeians like you and I. That being said, you cannot argue that both he and his family are Arsenal through and through, with his family able to link the traditions of the past with the present. I have no real major issue with him being commemorated and I think it’s a nice gesture by the club.
As for Josh Kroenke, well, that’s an interesting one. I’m sure it’s not quite the ‘youth’ on the board that many called for, so we’ll wait and see what his impact is. If it is to stay in America and come over once every couple of months to attend a board meeting, you have to wonder what the point is. Unless the point is for him to take a salary from the club and have a stealth way of the Kroenke’s pulling dividends out of a ‘franchise’ that is regularly turning over a profit. Yes, I’m a little cynical, but to date we’ve seen or heard little about the ‘vision’ of the Kroenke’s. I’m not saying I want five year plans and things like that, I just want to know what their plan is. If it’s to stay in America forever and a day and leave the club alone then fine, but I don’t believe it, as I think they want to extract money out of the club through selling up just after the big sponsorship and retail deals have all been done.
Anyway, I know little of the ways of working of The Arsenal board, so I should probably stop there and let you enjoy the rest of your day.